Eddy Ferguson, Fargo, Published April 14 2012
Consider the reasons Measure 2 is on North Dakota's June ballotPerhaps it would be well to consider why Measure 2 appears on the ballot. Possibly there are two reasons.
- First, in the mid-1990s, it became almost impossible to pass a mill levy increase in many counties and towns. The law specifies that any mill levy increases must be passed by a vote of the people. Since government never self-regulates, the politicians and bureaucrats realized that the Legislature failed to pass “set on sale property valuation” and set about arbitrarily and capriciously to adjust property valuations to accomplish de facto tax increases.
Since this was a direct violation of the law, this practice rises to the level of criminal fraud and is very widespread in North Dakota. Since indictments have not been forthcoming, the only other way to prevent government from defrauding the people is to repeal the property tax. The politicians have realized the disquiet over property tax and hence the limited property tax refunds of the past two years.
- The second issue of property tax involves economic development. Politicians have for years given lip service to economic development but have little concept of how to really make it happen. Well, here it is, folks. The elimination of property tax will spur development on all levels like nothing you have ever seen – from construction of all buildings to the influx of small businesses from every quarter. Make no mistake, every bit of tax on business is borne by the customer who buys the goods or services. That’s us.
I believe these two reasons are the basis for Measure 2. How do we refund local government? First, lower all budgets by 20 percent. Most in government will not relish this idea. There is enough money in the rainy-day fund. Let’s use the oil revenue to fund local governments. That may not be enough, but it’s close.
Next, call a special session of the Legislature and enact an additional 1 percent sales tax, which is not a regressive tax like property tax. Everyone pays sales tax. Let’s make it fair for everyone.
The passage of Measure 2 would make the ownership of private property a fact. No person could lose their property through nonpayment of taxes.
Let’s let the people of North Dakota breathe some fresh air and let in more business. Vote “yes” for Measure 2.